This post was created as in partnership with Imperial Sugar. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Swirls of rich chocolate baked into soft peanut butter cookies make these Peanut Butter Chocolate Whirligigs both hypnotizingly delicious and fun to eat. The classic combo of peanut butter and chocolate makes for one irresistible cookie.

Peanut butter and chocolate just might be one of the best flavor combos of all time. Some of our other favorite recipes with these flavors are our No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie, Ultimate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies, and Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies!

A stack of peanut butter chocolate pinwheel cookies with another cookie leaning against it.

Each month I partner with Imperial Sugar to bring you a delicious and fun recipe. They actually mentioned this fun version of a pinwheel slice-and-bake cookie to me and I was game to try it because who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate together?

After doing a bit of research, it looked like a common problem people have with this cookie is the chocolate swirl, which gets too hard while chilling in the fridge and makes it difficult to slice and get pretty swirls. I did some recipe testing and came up with my own version that uses my softer fudge center from my oatmeal fudge bars to give a rich, chocolate swirl that holds its shape while still being easy to slice!

Slice-and-bake peanut butter cookies with a soft chocolate swirl.

Why this recipe works

  • The peanut butter cookie dough is based off my popular peanut butter blossoms so the cookies stay soft and chewy for days!
  • The chocolate filling stays soft enough to slice easily from the fridge.
  • Because the cookies are "slice and bake" style, you can make a roll of dough and just slice and bake off as many cookies as you like so they are always warm and fresh!
  • These are perfect for bake sales and holiday parties because they are simple but eye-catching and different from a lot of other cookies you might see!

Ingredient Notes

  • Peanut butter: Be sure to use regular creamy peanut butter, not the natural kind, which separates and has to be stirred together. I'm pretty sure you could get away with chunky peanut butter as well and the cookies would turn out just fine, but I haven't tried it yet myself.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: This goes into the chocolate fudge swirls and keeps them soft enough to slice, even when chilled.
  • Sugar: A combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar gives the best depth of flavor and balances the saltiness of the peanut butter in these whirligig cookies.
Ingredients for making peanut butter chocolate whirligig cookies.

How to Make This Recipe

Start out by creaming softened butter together with the peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. This can be done with a hand mixer or stand mixer and will be kind of granular, but still creamy after a couple of minutes.

Mix in the egg and vanilla extract, followed by the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. The dough will be sticky, but manageable.

In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Heat in the microwave using short 20-30 seconds bursts, stirring between each burst of heat until the chocolate is melted and everything combined into a thick, spreadable fudge.

Roll out the cookie dough into a large rectangle on a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper until it is ¼-inch thick. It's important to use the plastic wrap or parchment paper not only to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter but because you will use it in a minute to roll up the dough.

Spread the chocolate filling into a thin, even layer on top of the peanut butter cookie dough. I just used the back of the spoon I used to stir the chocolate as it was melting to do this. Roll up the cookie dough into a tight log, just like cinnamon rolls, using the plastic wrap or parchment paper to help you roll.

Wrap up the log of dough in the plastic wrap or parchment paper and secure the ends, then stick the dough in the refrigerator to chill. It needs at least 30-45 minutes for the dough to firm up enough to slice, but you can make this a day or two (or even 4-5) in advance.

Once the log of cookie dough has firmed up enough to hold it's shape, unwrap it and use a sharp knife to slice it into ¼-inch discs. Space them a couple of inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Don't worry if the cookies get a little misshapen! You can squish them back into circles a bit before baking if you want, but honestly they spread enough as they back that I almost always ended up with perfect circles even when I didn't reshape imperfect cookies.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Find the FULL RECIPE and instructions on Imperial Sugar’s website.

Freezing and Storage Instructions

These cookies freeze beautifully! Just transfer the cooled cookies to an airtight container and they will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let them thaw on the counter or warm individual cookies in the microwave before eating.

The cookies will stay soft and fresh on the counter in an airtight container for about 5-7 days before they start tasting stale.

Swirls of chocolate filling in peanut butter cookies arranged on a cooling rack over parchment paper.

Recipe Tips

  • Don't overmix the dough. Overmixing the dough when you add the flour can result in dry, tough cookies instead of soft, chewy cookies. Making sure to scrape down the bowl after adding the egg and vanilla before introducing the dry ingredients can help avoid this problem.
  • Avoid overmeasuring. A common mistake bakers make is adding too much flour. I recommend using the spoon and sweep method of first whisking your flour, then spooning it into a measuring cup and leveling it off with a knife to get an accurate measurement if you have had trouble with inconsistent baked goods in the past.
  • Be sure your oven temperature is correct. Many ovens run hot or cold (mine is typically 25 degrees F lower than what I set it too). An inexpensive oven thermometer that just lives in the oven takes away the guesswork and ensures you are baking at the correct temperature, always.
  • Variation: I haven't tried it yet, but I'm dying to give these cookies a try with a white chocolate swirl by simply swapping out the semisweet chocolate chips for white chocolate ones. If you give it a go, let me know what you think in the comments below!
A pile of peanut butter cookies with a chocolate swirl on a wire cooling rack.

Be sure to stop by Imperial Sugar’s site for the FULL RECIPE! I have partnered with them now for a few years and love their products for my baking needs!

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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A peanut butter chocolate whirligig pinwheel cookie with a bite taken out of it leaning against a stack of cookies.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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